Most of the time I tell myself that “persistence pays off” and it’s true.

However, a bit of luck sometimes comes your way and things just work out perfectly first time around.

The trick is to recognise it when it happens!

Like in the case of this shot.

I took it on my first ever try at this location and every time I’ve been back there the conditions got progressively worse!

It’s like mother nature is just telling me “go shoot something else now!” lol

Seriously, I’ve got 5 Lightroom folders with shots from different days at this location, and I didn’t even bother to get my camera out another 3 times on top of that.

It’s the complete opposite of a shot Sonia and I WANT to get but haven’t yet… At a location (a certain bridge on the coast south of Sydney for anyone who knows the area 🙂

We went to shoot it 4 times over 3 days and each time either the sky was absolutely clear with no dramatic clouds or it was so foggy you couldn’t see 100 meters in front of you.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you a story about how persistence DOES pay off and share that elusive picture one day…

But back to today’s shot…

According to the exif data, I took this one over 5 years ago, which seems crazy. Where have 5 years gone!?

And this edit was a second version I made about a year after shooting and editing it the first time.

So I’m thinking to give this shot another go and see how it turns out. After years more time spent practising (and teaching!) Photoshop, it’ll be an interesting exercise.

The fact that I still use the same essential workflow as I did back then means it should turn out pretty close to this version, but I’ve been refining and adding to my techniques in that time too so it’ll be interesting to see what happens and compare the two.

Now, talking of processing… The main reason behind sharing this particular image today was to talk about cloning.

I think it’s widely accepted that we are “allowed” to clone out little blemishes, distractions and other non-important bits and pieces from an image.

But for this shot, I took cloning a little bit further and used it to improve the composition of the image.

My personal opinion: if you’re creating images for yourself that you enjoy looking at, then go ahead and manipulate them as much as you like. There are no rules. If you want to stay true to reality, that’s fine too. It’s your choice.

So what did I clone?

Here’s a screenshot of the RAW file:

Notice how the left-most canon is really close to the edge of the frame?

Well, I thought it was a little too close, so I moved it in a bit.

Is that acceptable? It is to me! And with respect to anyone viewing my images, I only create images for myself and if other people like them, that’s a bonus.

If you'd like to learn the 6 stage processing workflow that gives me the power to create images the way I want, so you can do the same for yourself… 

…then click here